Top tips for getting part-time work in the UK as an international student

The UK government is reported to be exploring proposals to raise or eliminate the limit on working hours for international students.

Typically, people holding a Tier 4 student visa are restricted to working 20 hours per week during term time. If implemented, the proposed measures would enable students to work for 30 or more hours per week.

It’s all part of plans to promote economic growth. But it would undoubtedly be a bonus for international students, too, enabling them to earn more towards living costs and tuition fees as well as gaining valuable work experience.

Whether you’re working, volunteering or taking part in other extra-curricular activities you’ll be developing important soft skills – including communication, teamwork, time management and problem-solving – all of which will make you a more rounded, employable proposition when you come to apply for jobs post-study.

Right now, the plans are still being debated but it’s still a good idea to seek out some part-time work while you’re here in the UK.

Here are seven tips on making it happen:

  1. Look for jobs in your field of study: Try to find part-time work that is related to your subject. This will not only help you gain some soft skills but also boost your CV. If not, jobs where you can develop your language and people skills, like retail and hospitality, will stand you in good stead.
  2. Be proactive: Don't wait for job vacancies to be advertised – take the initiative and approach companies directly. Turning up in person shows that you’re serious about finding work and can go a long way to persuading an employer you’re motivated for the job.
  3. Build your network: Attend career fairs and events, join clubs and societies and build your network on LinkedIn. Your peers and professors may have connections that can help you find work. Remember the old adage of ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. 
  4. Polish your CV: Don’t just send out the same CV to everyone. Make sure you tailor each version to the job you’re applying for. GradLink has some great CV writing tips to get you started.
  5. Apply early: Many part-time jobs, especially in competitive industries, are filled quickly. Apply as early as possible to avoid missing out on job opportunities. Consider setting up some job alerts on your phone so that you hear about vacancies as soon as they come online.
  6. Consider volunteering: Don’t just think about the financial benefits of a new role – volunteering can provide you with invaluable, hands-on experience in a particular field that can be helpful when seeking employment after graduation. Volunteering shows employers that you’re caring, committed, reliable, and want to make a difference in your community.
  7. Practise your interview skills: As well as helping you find vacancies and improve your CV, our award-winning careers service can give you top tips on how to present yourself at an interview. Applying for part-time work will give you experience of the interview process and prepare you for what’s ahead.

We're currently advertising some summer internships on our jobs board – check them out here.

By QContent Published: May 05,2023

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